Friday, August 29, 2014
The Ten Plagues Are Back
Katherine (Hilary Swank) is someone who has decided to debunk religious miracles. She was once a missionary with a husband and little girl. Both died and now Katherine has lost her faith in God. So far she has yet to meet a miracle that can't be explained by science. She is asked to come out to a small town called Haven where a young child was found dead. The river in which the child was found has turned red and the fish are dying. Katherine decides to investigate the phenomena because another child is in danger, because the town folk seem to think she has something to do with it. Katherine's assistant Ben (Idris Elba) heads out to Haven with her and they soon find the river. While walking around in the river, frogs begin to fall seemingly from the sky. Katherine encounters Loren (AnnaSophia Robb), who is being blamed for things. But who or what is really causing the plagues, and are they on our side?
I admit that I was a bit confused by The Reaping at first. I don't know if the story was a little confusing, or maybe I wasn't giving it enough attention at first. I thought that Loren was the child that was killed for a good while. If they said otherwise prior to first seeing Loren on screen, then I just missed it. Early on they give Loren a supernatural feel. She causes people to have visions when she is touched or touches someone, and can quickly disappear when she needs to. I guess this is why I thought she was a ghost or something like that at first. It turns out that she is alive and well, but has powers so to speak. Once I had the story straight, I just had to figure out who's side Loren is on. Director Stephen Hopkins does a good job at keeping one guessing as to what is really going on. While religion plays a big part in the story, I didn't feel it was beating us over the heads with it...until the end. I was enjoying the film until it came to the point that Katherine needed to regain her faith. The story had been leaning that way for some time, but I wasn't really sure if that was the direction it was actually going to take. Once it rounded that corner and made it official, I started losing interest. I'm not against religion, just not into it much at all. I have liked other films that deal with religion though, but The Reaping wasn't really one of them this time around. I didn't hate this film or anything. In fact the mystery of who is actually bad kept me into it. I didn't think that the payoff was all that great though.
There wasn't a lot of effects to be found, and what is there looked to be all CGI. They weren't really bad, but they are easy to spot all the same. Nothing gory happens, which was a bit of a disappointment. The acting wasn't too bad. I liked Swank's character more than I liked her really. She isn't a bad actress at all, don't get me wrong. David Morrissey has a fairly big role in the film. I guess one could call him the male lead. There is a sex scene between the two that seems to have caused some confusion. It seemed pretty obvious that the two characters wanted to have sex with each other, but for some reason, some people seem to think Katherine was forced into it. Either she was drugged or had too much to drink, which of course didn't seem the case to me.
In some ways The Reaping reminded me of the film The Seventh Sign. I can't say that I have all that many horror films that use the ten plagues as a plot point, so that was refreshing and was what got me into the film. Well, that and a scientific explanation for such things. Even though I was disappointed with the ending, and the news right at the end of the film that Katherine can easily get around if she wants to, it wasn't that bad of a movie overall. If you haven't watched this one yet...I'm not really going to suggest going out to find it. I will leave this one up to all of you. If it sounds interesting then by all means give it a try. It was worth a watch to me, and I will likely watch it again if I should catch it on somewhere. If it doesn't sound all that interesting then you can always find something else to watch.
3 out of 5 Science rules!